Getting a Perfect Score on the GRE – 170 Q and 170 V

Posted by on December 1, 2016 in Experience of GRE Students | 20 comments


For most students in Pakistan, achieving a perfect or a near perfect score on the GRE is an impossible dream. In case most of you are new to the GRE, a perfect GRE score is

170 (perfect quant) + 170 (perfect verbal) = 340

Recently, Umair Khan made us proud by scoring a 170 (perfect) on quant and 168 (near perfect) on the verbal section. Since his outstanding feat, many students have been inquiring as to how many questions did he get right in each section of the test to get this score. To answer that we got Umair’s official score reports from the ETS (attached below) and it seems that you can get a perfect Math score on the GRE by getting a question or two wrong. For the verbal section one can get a near perfect score by getting a 5-6 questions wrong. So to get a perfect quant score, the maximum you can get wrong is two questions – for verbal you can get 3 questions incorrect and still get a perfect score.

It is a myth that Engineers cannot get good verbal scores. But Umair is an engineer, which proves that engineers can get top-notch verbal scores. There is another myth that only voracious readers of novels can get such scores on the English section – Umair proves that myth wrong as well. In fact Umair had no GRE vocabulary at all and he memorized 800-900 words a couple of weeks before his exam day. He has never been an avid reader of the English language except sporadically reading things that interests him.

Getting a great score on the GRE does not require hundreds of hours of effort if your basics are right. You just need to get the right content and put emphasis on mastering your concepts, techniques and strategies. I have seen students solve thousands of questions to prepare for GRE and end up getting average scores and then complain. This is the wrong strategy – instead of working tons of questions, the best way to prepare is to work hard on grasping the concepts and techniques of the various topics and question types. Then you just need to solve a few questions to consolidate that technique. Umair stated in his post exam performance that he never solved more than 40 questions per topic once he understood the strategies. In total he solved around 500 questions for quant, learned 800-900 new words and solved 50-60 reading passages and 150 questions on the text completions and equivalence. What Umair did best was that he spent more time on mastering his approach on a question and then topped it up with 10-12 full-length practice tests to build stamina of working through a 4 hour long exam.

Its simple, if you study for the GRE with questions and books that do not accurately reflect what you’ll see test day, you will never get a good GRE score. You would be under the false impression that you worked so hard for the test and couldn’t score well, where in the first place you studied the wrong stuff. So the moral of the story is: work hard but use the right content and prepare a strategy for your GRE prep.

Below are Umair’s GRE score reports for your analysis and purview.

Quant Score Report GRE:

Verbal Score Report GRE:


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    How to get this detailed report of your GRE score?

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      It is in the diagnostic tool service on ETS website. in your online account

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    Sir, How to get detailed score report?

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      Go to diagnostic tool services in your ETS account online

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    umair would have been a bright student from the start . we average students will require more practice then him .

    how many questions should be correct to get a 320 ?

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      17 each section of quant and 13 each on verbal

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        hello sir how many question to get right for verbal 152 and quant 155

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          10 each on verbal and 12-13 each on quant

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    please send a screenshot of your GRE most recent report please

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    What were the Sources of your Vocabulary words?

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      Mostly the source is our students

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        I mean Vocabulary for TC/SE.

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    how many times did Umair appear for GRE?

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    Does only Strategies and vocabulary play roles in getting good verbal score?

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      Not at all. Strategies are only 30% of the verbal part!

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    Hi, what are your suggestions to get the perfect score? DO you recommend any resources? Any strategies?

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      Hello – well there is nothing better than the Manhattan and ETS guides out there and those are the best resources available to get a great score.

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    What are in your experiences word lists that have the most words that can be found in an actual GRE? Manhattan, Barron, others? I am interested in actual experiences on the test, I understand I could learn 1000 words, yet non of them will be on the test.

    Since I am an international student, I am not always sure if the word is considered “obscure” or common enough to be found on revised GRE. So I would like to work with a list of words that have the highest probability of showing up (not obscure, but just common advanced words) on the test first, and then expand my vocabulary further. I’ve almost finished learning Barron’s 1100 words, and I am decent vocabulary-wise at the moment (scored from 154-160 in mock tests), but would like to learn as many new words as possible to give me a better chances of success, should I get a lot of new words on the test.

    Thank you for the help.

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      Hello BL, Barron’s is pretty accurate. If you are done with 1100 words, you should be satisfied with your vocab prep!

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